Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by akhooha, Jul 2, 2013.

  1. akhooha Senior Member

    English - USA
    What's the best way to translate the word "partner" (in the sense of a person with whom one is living as if married, but not actually legally married)?
    I have a feeling that words like
    while certainly descriptive, do not exactly convey respect.
    Would رفيق be a good choice?
  2. إسكندراني

    إسكندراني Senior Member

    أرض الأنجل
    عربي (مصر)ـ | en (gb)
    او صاحب
    Though neither necessarily denotes cohabitation, just as 'partner' doesn't, i recommend the first.
  3. akhooha Senior Member

    English - USA
    أشكرك غاية الشكر على ردّك السريع يا اسكندراني
    I think شريك sounds the best to me too...
  4. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    شريك can be understood as business partner. So, unless it's clear from context, you may need to go for another word.

    In Egypt, the word صاحب / صاحبة is becoming a bit common. I don't know about the other Arab countries.
  5. akhooha Senior Member

    English - USA
    Thank you. That's a good one to consider as well. I think both صاحب and شريك need contexts to make it clear, just as context is necessary for the English word. In any case, the context I have in mind will make it clear. Thank you.
  6. GoldBug

    GoldBug Senior Member

    Great Lakes area - USA
    American English
    1. In my variety of (USA) English, a "partner" is not someone I'm simply sharing living quarters with, whether m. or f. I would call such a person a "roommate". At a social function, I would not introduce this person to someone else as my "partner". To do so implies a much more involved relationship than a mere "roommate". (There's also the peculiar usage of "mate" in Australian. When someone calls me that, I feel I'm in the navy or something).

    2. In Arabic, what I've heard is, as mentioned by Cherine, " ya SaHbee" or "ya zameelee".

    3. During the classical period in Arabic belles lettres, of course, we have the so-called "boon companion", the "drinking buddy" of the Caliphs called in Arabic
    نديم How "nadeem" is used in modern Arabic I don't know, but it might be the word you're looking for.
  7. akhooha Senior Member

    English - USA
    Thank you, Goldbug, but I think you've misunderstood my query. As a native speaker of English, I'm well aware of the distinction between "partner" and "roommate". That's why I'd specified living together "as if married" . . .
  8. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Yes, and calling someone يا صاحبي doesn't mean they sleep together or live together. But among young generation, you can hear a person talk about his girlfriend as صاحبتي instead of the once-used English term, and a girl uses صاحبي instead of boyfriend.
    Living together is not implied in this word though, this is why context and/or further "explanation" would be required if you need to give that meaning.

    Also, nadiim is someone you drink with (not necessarily among governors), so it's a different word.
  9. akhooha Senior Member

    English - USA
    Thank you. Yes, that makes perfect sense. Further context is also needed in English to imply living together. Just as Arabic has no single word to describe that relationship, neither does English. The only way to describe it in English without a context is to use the phrase "common-law wife" or "common-law husband".
    In any case, صاحبي with a context sounds like just what I need. Thank you.
  10. إسكندراني

    إسكندراني Senior Member

    أرض الأنجل
    عربي (مصر)ـ | en (gb)
    It does depend to a large extent quite how accurately you need the translation; if you're translating in the context of an application form asking 'partner/spouse' I would hesitate to use صاحب - but I think you get the idea anyway.
  11. akhooha Senior Member

    English - USA
    Thank you, iskandaraani, yes, it's not for any legal forms or applications, it's for as biography to which I can add all the appropriate context.
    Thank you

Share This Page